Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
The Boy Next Door is a second chance romance and the second novel in bestselling author Ella James's Off-Limits series. Amelia Frank was a peripheral character in Crown Jewels, the Off-Limits series starter, and here in the second book, we learn about her love story with Dash Frasier through flashbacks and how their paths cross again five years later. Amelia is the best friend of Dash's younger sister, and while he may have feelings for her, the fact that the three-year age difference between them seems like such a wide gap when she fifteen and that she and his sister are close has Dash trying to keep his distance. One night has them finally giving in to their emotions, but Dash soon disappears. When they meet again, Amelia is an intern at Imagine Luxe, the animation studio where Dash is the lead animator. He knows he broke Amelia's heart when he upped and left without an explanation and he realizes that the best thing for everyone is for him to continue to stay as far away from her as possible. Dash's heart has always belonged to Amelia, but will she still want it once he confesses the deep, dark secret he keeps?
This book was okay, and if you're familiar with my reviews, "okay" isn't necessarily a good thing. I have no complaints with as far as Ella James's writing is concerned, and I feel that the basic story line was an interesting one and it had a great deal of promise. Unfortunately, Dash and Amelia lacked chemistry, to the point that I didn't really get what it was they saw in one another for them to still be pining for the other years later. Dash broke Amelia's heart, to the point that she's sabotaged any relationships that followed. Yet, with nary an explanation as to what happened before, she sleeps with him. I get it; he's her first love and the guy she still loves, but I don't think asking him to explain to her why he left her high and dry would have been a bad thing. And that's where my other issue with the book comes in--it took forever to get to that explanation, to the secret that Dash has kept, and while it was surprising, at that point, it was almost anticlimactic. That lack of chemistry and the overly long revelation hampered my ability to wholly enjoy The Boy Next Door so I'm sorry but I'm giving this one three stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Off-Limits series:
Crown Jewels (book one) - three stars - My Review
The Boy Next Door (book two) - three stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 10 May 2017
Date Read: 10 May 2017
Learn more about Ella James.
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